Off-Ramp for Jul 04, 2009

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We're on Twitter

The five members of Team Off-Ramp are now Tweeting. Follow Us and John Rabe, Queena Kim, Jackson Musker, Andrea Domanick, and Kevin Ferguson will be your eyes and ears in Southern California.
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Anime Expo 2009 Preview

Web Exclusive: John talks with Anime Expo chair Liyin Liang and PR man Chase Wang about how the convention's changed in almost 20 years and what's new for this year.
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In Memoriam -- Sam's Mom

A few months ago, Off-Ramp's roving city critic, Sam Hall Kaplan, told us about his mom Sadie's latest comeback from her deathbed. But Sam just wrote to say that just a few days after her 106th birthday, Sadie passed away on June 30th. (Sam's note inside.)
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What's New, Charles?

Web Exclusive: Animation expert Charles Solomon, our guide in 2007, looks at Anime Expo 2009.
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CyberFrequencies: The World Gone to Pot?

Can Pot Make the World a Better Place? This week the US Government has pledged not to prosecute medical marijuana vendors or users. That's great news for Dann Halem, who runs a marijuana delivery service that uses Twitter to publish its menu. His goal is to sell enough pot to give away $10K grants to artists. CyberFrequencies takes a look at his high-minded intentions. (READ ON...)
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Maltin on Malden, 97

Karl Malden was the best supporting actor ever to grace the screen. John talks with movie historian Leonard Maltin about the Oscar winner, TV star, and American Express pitchman.
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Anime-niacs!

Join John and animation expert Charles Solomon as they explore AnimeExpo.
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Say NET-skay!

Today netsukes hang from your cell phone, just like the old Japanese ones that would have been carved wood or ivory. LACMA has a huge collection of traditional netsukes.
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The Voice of Anime

John and Charles talk with young-sounding Chris Patton, one of the most popular voice actors in anime.
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He's Ba-ack!

Godzilla is back! The original 1954 version of the movie is out on DVD. We consider buiding a teeny Godzilla set with found objects. And John talks with Star Trek's George Takei, who did voice work in "Godzilla Raids Again."

The Artists Behind Godzilla

John talks with Steve Ryfle in 2008 about the documentary "Bringing Godzilla Down to Size," about the Godzilla movies' creative team.
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Attention!

John and Charles learn about the "fan" that makes all the noise. Japanese teachers might have used them as nuns used rulers.
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Full Metal and Tiny Toys

John and Charles talk about Fullmetal Alchemist and gashapon at the AnimeExpo.
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Sword Play

Jackson Musker takes us to a groundbreaking exhibit that uses depictions of the samurai to make the case that Japanese animation and comic books are real art.

Triple-Expo

AnimeExpo attendees talk about Party Pop and Tentacle Porn.
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Razorcake: 8 Years of D.I.Y.

Vibe is dead, but Razorcake -- a non-profit, L.A. based magazine devoted to exploring and promoting underground music, arts, and culture -- is still rocking. Off-Ramp correspondent Kevin Ferguson sits down with the co-founder, Todd Taylor, to talk about Do it Yourself culture, Southern California music, Howard Zinn, and clowns.

An American Story

In honor of Independence Day, Queena Kim talks with Elizbeth Lee, who came to the US from Korea years ago. She had dreams of going to fancy dress balls, like she saw in the movies. Life here was harder. She ran a grocery store in South LA for years, and retired a few years ago.
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